Historical monument puts glitch in rezoning

Gwen Barringer – IVN contributing writer

A public hearing regarding the rezoning of 435 Junction Ave. was held at the first Cave Junction City Council meeting of the year Jan. 9 at City Hall. The property discussed is next to Jubilee Park and owned by applicant Gary Price.
Price wished to have his commercial property rezoned into a residential property. Although there was some debate about whether the best option would be a single or multi-family rezoning, this was not the biggest issue brought to the council’s attention. Councilor Tina Casey Jones pointed out that the property in question contains a piece of American history; a historically significant World War I monument.
Although multi-family residential zoning was agreed upon, the matter of the historical monument and how to properly partition the land was left unsolved. The council and the petitioner agreed that it would be best to settle the matter at the next city meeting.
Mayor Martell and Councilors Ethan Lane and Jean Ann Miles were sworn in, as all three of them were re-elected to their positions during the most recent election. Shortly thereafter, the mayor read the State of the City address, where she detailed the challenges that Cave Junction’s government and citizens faced and overcame over the course of the last year. Toward the end of the reading, Martell reiterated that Cave Junction is not a “backwater city,” and that “we have a lot to be proud of,” words that seemed to resonate with the rest of the council.
Alex Ponder gave his monthly public works update to the council, and while the things that he mentioned were mostly along the lines of general yearly inspections, he did touch upon how the previous week’s wind storm had impacted his department. Calls were apparently ‘nonstop’ after the trees began to fall. Teresa Stover also spoke about how the library renovation project was on track for design to be completed by the end of the month.
During the council liaison portion of the meeting, Miles informed the room that Cave Junction does not qualify for affordable housing grants for unspecified bureaucratic reasons. This is a problem that Miles intends to look into further in the hopes that she can “figure out this puzzle piece” in order to help the city combat the current housing crisis.
Amy Lusson, the president of Main Street Cave Junction, informed the council that the 75th anniversary of Cave Junction’s incorporation is coming up this year and that MSCJ would like to hold a celebration to honor this milestone when it occurs.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get more involved with your community, city council meeting dates and times are always posted in the Illinois Valley News in a public notice prior to the meetings and there is a Zoom option available. If you wish to address the council with a three-minute public comment, you can fill out a presentation card with your name and address (or by “chat” if on Zoom) at the beginning of the meeting and submit it to the city recorder.
The next city council meeting at City Hall located at 222 Lister St., Cave Junction (near the post office), is scheduled for Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. and a city workshop is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23, 2023 at 7 p.m.